Materials Science

Materials Science At HIGP

Our work encompasses the study of material properties and processing, and is highly interdisciplinary in nature. HIGP’s advanced instrumentation is a powerful enabler of a wide range of materials science research and education across the University. Advanced materials research is critical to meeting key needs for our State’s economic development and clean energy initiatives.

HIGP instruments and laboratories are a resource for University-wide research, including characterization of natural and synthetic materials to answer questions in the fields of geology and mineralogy of extraterrestrial and terrestrial rocks, solar energy and energy storage, water filtration, catalysis, graphene-based materials, and nanoparticles for drug delivery and biophysical manipulation.

These instruments are also the basis for an exciting new undergraudate materials science course in the College of Engineering, cross-listed with Chemistry, being developed and led by HIGP faculty. HIGP instruments are also central to the new Earth and Planetary Exploration Technology (EPET) certificate curriculum developed by HIGP.

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Overview of HIGP Laboratories and Instruments:

  • The W. M. Keck Cosmochemistry Laboratory is built around a Cameca ims 1280 ion microprobe, which measures isotopic and trace-element abundances in natural and man-made materials.
  • The Advanced Electron Microscopy Center features a Titan aberration-corrected scanning transmissioin electron microscope (S)TEM and a Helios NanoLab 660 Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam instrument (FIB).
  • High-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM)
  • High-pressure materials synthesis facilities,
  • Powder and single crystal x-ray diffraction (XRD) instruments
  • Brillouin, Raman, and infrared spectrometers

 Instrumentation is complemented by powerful analytical, visualization and modeling software, and a computational laboratory. HIGP faculty also have regular access to national synchrotron x-ray facilities.


Tayro Acosta-Maeda

Assistant Researcher

John P. Bradley

Researcher, Manager of Advanced Electron Microscopy Center

Bin Chen

Associate Researcher

Przemyslaw Dera


Miles Egan

Graduate Student

Milton A. Garces

Researcher, Director of ISLA

Niels Grobbe

Affiliate Faculty

Hope A. Ishii

Director of AEMC

Warren McKenzie

Graduate Student

Li Chung Ming

Emeritus Faculty, High-pressure research

Anupam K. Misra


Phuong Q. H. Nguyen

Post-Doctoral Researcher/Affiliate Faculty

Shiv K. Sharma


Feng Zhu

Post-Doctoral Researcher/Affiliate Faculty
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